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Hannah Rothschild is a writer and film director. Her documentary feature films have appeared on the BBC and HBO and at international film festivals. She has written film scripts for Ridley Scott and Working Title, and articles forVanity Fair, the New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and others. Her first book, The Baroness, was published in 2012 and has been translated into six languages. She is the Chair of the National Gallery, a trustee of the Tate Gallery and Waddesdon Manor, and a Vice President of the Hay Literary Festival. The Improbability of Love, her first novel, was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick and one of the Guardian's Best Books of 2015. She lives in London. hannahrothschild.com / @RothschildHan
When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered. Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting - a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called 'The Improbability of Love'. Delving into the painting's past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history - and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.
Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected second-hand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two, only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece. But every painting has a story - and if it could speak, what would it tell us? For Annie has stumbled across 'The Improbability of Love', a lost masterpiece by Antoine Watteau, one of the most influential French painters of the eighteenth century. Soon Annie is drawn unwillingly into the art world, and finds herself pursued by a host of interested parties that would do anything to possess her picture. For an exiled Russian oligarch, an avaricious Sheika, a desperate auctioneer, an unscrupulous dealer and several others, the painting symbolises their greatest hopes and fears. In her search for the painting's true identity, Annie will uncover the darkest secrets of European history - and in doing so, she will learn more about herself, opening up to the possibility of falling in love again.
Shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize For Comic Fiction 'If you're in need of a Succession replacement then this tale of a crumbling English dynasty clinging on to the past while coping with the fallout of the 2008 crash is for you. Pure pleasure' - Stylist 'Delights from start to finish' Mail on Sunday 'Witty and stylish' Sunday Times 'Jilly Cooper territory with a whiff of Joanna Trollope ... a lavish saga' The Times 'Slyly comic' Red 'What you might get if you threw What a Carve Up! and Kind Hearts & Coronets into a blender together' John Boyne The seat of the Trelawney family for over 800 years, Trelawney Castle was once the jewel of the Cornish coast. Each successive Earl spent with abandon, turning the house and grounds into a sprawling, extravagant palimpsest of wings, turrets and follies. But recent generations have been better at spending than making money. Now living in isolated penury, unable to communicate with each other or the rest of the world, the family are running out of options. Three unexpected events will hasten their demise: the sudden appearance of a new relation, an illegitimate, headstrong, beautiful girl; an unscrupulous American hedge fund manager determined to exact revenge; and the crash of 2008. A love story and social satire set in the parallel and seemingly unconnected worlds of the British aristocracy and high finance, House of Trelawney is also the story of lost and found friendships between three women. One of them will die; another will discover her vocation; and the third will find love.
Als im Marz 1955 die Nachricht vom Tod Charlie Parkers New York erschutterte, hatte die Presse ihren Skandal: "e;Bop-Konig stirbt im Appartment reicher Erbin"e;. Wer war diese Frau, in deren Hotelsuite das Saxophon-Genie seine letzten Stunden verbrachte? Die mit Thelonius Monk oder Miles Davis in ihrem weien Bentley Cabrio nachts von Jazzclub zu Jazzclub fuhr und als "e;Neger-Hure"e; beschimpft wurde?Pannonica Baronesse de Koenigswarter, geborene Rothschild, was schon immer die Rebellin ihrer berhmten Familie gewesen: Sie hatte unter de Gaulle gegen Deutschland gekmpft, war Bomber geflogen und Jeeps gefahren. Nun hatte sie ihr des Leben als Diplomatengattin hinter sich gelassen und in New York eine neue Leidenschaft entdeckt: Die Millionen-Erbin half den schwarzen Musikern mit Geld und groem Herz, sie kmmerte sich um Kranke, sorgte fr Auftrittsgenehmigungen - und wurde so zur Schutzpatronin des Bebop. Jazzgenies von Monk bis Horace Silver widmeten ihr eigene Songs. UndClint Eastwood setzte ihr in "e;Bird"e; ein filmisches Denkmal. Hannah Rothschild erzhlt das strmische Leben ihrer Grotante von der Kindheit in englischen Schlssern, der abenteuerliche Flucht vor den Nazis und den Schlachtfeldern des Zweiten Weltkriegs bis zu den Abgrnden des schwarzen Amerika der sechziger Jahre. Eine faszinierende Biographie - und zugleich die unglaubliche Geschichte einer weltberhmten Dynastie.
Beautiful, romantic and spirited, Pannonica, known as Nica, named after her fathers favorite moth, was born in 1913 to extraordinary, eccentric privilege and a storied history. The Rothschild family had, in only five generations, risen from the ghetto in Frankfurt to stately homes in England. As a child, Nica took her daily walks, dressed in white, with her two sisters and governess around the parkland of the vast house at Tring, Hertfordshire, among kangaroos, giant tortoises, emus and zebras, all part of the exotic menagerie collected by her uncle Walter. As a debutante, she was taught to fly by a saxophonist and introduced to jazz by her brother Victor; she married Baron Jules de Koenigswarter, settled in a chteau in France and had five children. When World War II broke out, Nica and her children narrowly escaped back to England, but soon after, she set out to find her husband who was fighting with the Free French Army in Africa, where she helped the war effort by being a decoder, a driver, and organizing supplies and equipment.In the early 1950s Nica heard #8198;Round Midnight by the jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and, as if under a powerful spell, abandoned her marriage and moved to New York to find him. She devoted herself to helping Monk and other musicians: she bailed them out of jail, paid their bills, took them to the hospital, even drove them to their gigs, and her convertible Bentley could always be seen parked outside downtown clubs or up in Harlem. Charlie Parker would notoriously die in her apartment in the Stanhope Hotel. But it was Monk who was the love of her life and whom she cared for until his death in 1982.Hannah Rothschild has drawn on archival material and her own interviews in this quest to find out who her great-aunt really was and how she fit into a family that, although passionate about music and entomology, was reactionary in always favoring men over women. Part musical odyssey, part love story, The Baroness is a fascinating portrait of a modern figure ahead of her time who dared to live as she wanted, finally, at the very center of New Yorks jazz scene.
A Rothschild by birth and a Baroness by marriage, beautiful, spirited Pannonica - known as Nica - seemed to have it all: children, a handsome husband and a trust fund. But in the early 1950s she heard a piece by the jazz legend Thelonious Monk. The music overtook her like a magic spell, and she abandoned her marriage to go and find him. Arriving in New York, Nica was shunned by society but accepted by the musicians. They gave her friendship; she gave them material and emotional support. Her convertible Bentley was a familiar sight outside the clubs and she drank whisky from a hip flask disguised as a Bible. Her notoriety was sealed when drug-addicted saxophonist Charlie Parker died in her apartment. But her real love was reserved for Monk, whom she cared for until his death in 1982. The Baroness traces Nica's extraordinary, thrilling journey - from England's stately homes to the battlefields of Africa, passing under the shadow of the Holocaust, and finally to the creative ferment of the New York jazz scene. Hannah Rothschild's search to solve the mystery of her rebellious great aunt draws on their long friendship and years of meticulous research and interviews. It is part musical odyssey, part dazzling love story.